One world getting closer.Submitted by Ron Aldof on Sun, 12/21/2008 - 14:27
Southeast Asia joins together to form their own EU.
On December 15, 2008, the members of ASEAN met in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta to launch a charter, signed in November 2007, with the aim of moving closer to "an EU-style community". The charter turns ASEAN into a legal entity and aims to create a single free-trade area for the region encompassing 500 million people. President of Indonesia Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono stated that "This is a momentous development when ASEAN is consolidating, integrating and transforming itself into a community. It is achieved while ASEAN seeks a more vigorous role in Asian and global affairs at a time when the international system is experiencing a seismic shift," he added, referring to climate change and economic upheaval. Southeast Asia is no longer the bitterly divided, war-torn region it was in the 1960s and 1970s." The charter's aims included:
"Respect for the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of member states"
"Peaceful settlement of disputes"
"Non-interference in member states' internal affairs"
"Right to live without external interference"
However, the ongoing global financial crisis was stated as being a threat to the goals envisioned by the charter, and also set forth the idea of a proposed human rights body to be discussed at a future summit in February 2009. This proposal caused controversy, as the body would not have the power to impose sanctions or punish countries who violate citizens' rights and would therefore be limited in effectiveness.
Member State Government Ratification Deposit of
Instrument of Ratification Signed by
Singapore December 18, 2007 January 7, 2008 Prime Minister
Brunei January 31, 2008 February 15, 2008 Sultan
Malaysia February 14, 2008 February 20, 2008 Foreign Minister
Laos February 14, 2008 February 20, 2008 Prime Minister
Cambodia February 25, 2008 April 18, 2008 National Assembly
Vietnam March 14, 2008 March 19, 2008 Minister of Foreign Affairs
Burma July 21, 2008 July 21, 2008 Foreign Minister
Thailand September 16, 2008 November 14, 2008 Parliament
Philippines October 7, 2008 November 12, 2008 Senate
Indonesia October 21, 2008 November 13, 2008 The House of Representatives